93 Insider Points
Our good friends at Meyer Family Cellars have finally released the new vintage of their delicious Yorkville Highlands Syrah. The 2011 vintage is dark and complex, with a great firm texture and a very long finish. The 2011 vintage was tough for some wineries, but I can’t find anything wrong with this wine. The nose is full of black and blue fruit with a wonderful forest floor note and hint of black tea. The palate changes with every minute in the glass, showing more ripe berries and mixed notes of tobacco, graphite and some hefty tannin on the finish. Another fantastic release from this great winery. Enjoy now through 2023. - DZ Oct 2015
Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino
The brand new vintage of Meyer Family Syrah is here! Though it will not hang around long. All of winemaker Matt Meyer’s wines leave our warehouse in a flash—this is the son of Silver Oaks’ founders Bonny and Justin Meyer. This very talented guy was raised at Silver Oak, and that great estate’s legacy lives on in all of Matt’s amazing offerings.
From the cool, coastal reaches of the Yorkville Highlands AVA (one of California’s newest appellations) comes an astonishingly pure Syrah that smells and tastes like the love child of a super premium Napa Valley Syrah and a noble Chapoutier Hermitage. In the hands of an expert, Syrah is among the world’s most complex red varieties, showing primary fruit characters (blueberries and boysenberries especially) along with exotic and even slightly carnal notes like raw red meat, wet clay and sweet lilac. It’s all here in this massive yet still elegant red.
Every vintage of Meyer Family Syrah goes down as an invino favorite, and it’s little wonder the wine sells out so quickly. As a delightful bridge between New World flash and Old World finesse, it makes ideal gift for all the red-wine lovers on your holiday list, too.
Reasons why we love it:
Wine runs in the blood of husband-and-wife winemaking team Matt and Karen Meyer. Matt Meyer grew up at Silver Oak (his folks owned it) and cut his teeth on this great estate’s “cult classics” before the phrase even existed. Karen studied oenology in her native Australia before expatriating to California’s Northern Coast.
Yorkville Highlands is a far cry from the Napa Valley floor where Matt first learned about wine at Silver Oak. It’s a newish appellation and one defined by extremes. First, most of the vineyards that make up Yorkville sit up at 1,000 to 2,200 feet in elevation. Second, the proximity of the ocean and its frigid nighttime winds means the temperature drops dramatically during the growing season. These fluctuations result in wines of amazing structure and unabashed acidity. In some ways, Yorkville captures the best of the Old and the New World. Indeed our Tasting Panel noted this Syrah boasts layers of ripe, bold fruit as befitting its California roots but tight acid structure, too, more in keeping with Syrahs of the Northern Rhone.
Proprietor and winemaker Matt Meyer trained at his parent’s Silver Oak Cellars before attending the Masters program in Oenology at the prestigious University of California, Davis.
The nose exhibits classic cooler Syrah notes of blueberry, violet, pepper, and wet earth. Complimented by a splash of grit this is a classic example of our cool-climate Syrahs.
In addition to household chores, Matt and Karen Meyer share the winemaking duties at Meyer Family Cellars. They may spend most of their waking time together now, but they arrived at this point in their careers having followed very different paths.
From an early age, Matt's goal was to be a winegrower like his father. As he grew up, he spent much of his time in the vineyard and cellar at Silver Oak. The passion he developed for wine led him to the University of California, Davis, where he was awarded a Masters in Viticulture in 2002.
Karen was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia. After a harvest in Margaret River, she was hooked on wine. She completed a degree in enology at Charles Stuart University, then spent the next few years working harvests around the world. In 1999 Matt and Karen met in Oregon while working the crush at Argyle Winery in the Willamette Valley.
Bonny and Justin founded Silver Oak Cellars together with their financial partner, Ray Duncan in 1972. Always a labor of love, Silver Oak’s inaugural vintage was crushed that fall a week after Justin and Bonny returned from their honeymoon.
In the early years Bonny managed Silver Oak business and sales while Justin oversaw winemaking and managed burgeoning Franciscan Vineyards, purchases by the partners in 1975. A couple years after the partners sold Franciscan, Justin left and took over primary management duties at Silver Oak. Always part of the management team, Bonny focused on PR, marketing, and package and facility design. The original Silver Oak and Meyer Family Port labels both won design awards, as did the Oakville Silver Oak winery when it was completed in 1982. Today Bonny is an active partner in Meyer Cellars and continues to focus on marketing and design.
Bonny is Principal of Meyer Family Enterprises, investor in the financial markets, commercial property, and green technologies. She is a strategic philanthropist and a community activist. She loves to sail, play guitar and sing with friends. Now and then she skis and drives fast when no one is looking.
The legend of Bonny’s Vineyard states that Bonny gazes upon and blesses her vineyard every morning and that’s what makes the wine so extraordinary. Others say the wine is a manifestation of Justin and Bonny’s love for one another. But no one really knows for sure
We love this with roast lamb, or with ribs slathered in barbecue sauce! It's also perfect with Lamb Shawarma or Gyros.